Fans of Ken Bruen in particular, and noir fans in general, should get on board for this exceedingly bleak ride through Sligo from Irish author Burke (ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL). Taxi driver and occasional drug-transporter Harry Rigby, who did time for killing his brother in cold blood, has the misfortune to witness his friend and former cellmate, Finn Hamilton, dive off a nine-story building and pierce the roof of Harry’s cab with explosive results. Finn’s fatal plunge leaves Harry on the hook to powerful gangster Ross McConnell for missing weed. On the plus side, Finn’s mother, Saoirse Hamilton, is willing to pay Harry big bucks to find Finn’s suicide note (if there is one). Harry’s strained personal relationships deteriorate as he gets sucked further into the tangled affairs of the Hamiltons. Relentlessly brutal actions, rampant corruption, and scamming are all described in prose both scabrous and poetic. Agent: Allan Guthrie, Jenny Brown Associates (U.K.). (Mar.)So there you have it. SLAUGHTER’S HOUND: Bruenesque, scabrous and poetic, and an exceedingly bleak ride. Leaving aside the fact that a ‘ride’ means two totally different things in the US and Sligo, I’ve been called a lot worse in my time …
Praise for Declan Burke: “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – The Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “A hardboiled delight.” – The Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review). “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre, was ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL.” – Sunday Times. “The writing is a joy.” – Ken Bruen. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.
Monday, January 28, 2013
An Exceedingly Bleak Ride
That august journal reviewed SLAUGHTER’S HOUND a couple of weeks ago, with the gist looking a lot like this: